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    #116353 - 11/16/11 06:05 AM reading comprehension-visual spatial
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1347
    Just had DD7's parent/teacher conference.

    DD is more mathy, though reads above grade level, is visual spatial. Discussing reading strategies, because sometimes DD just reads through, without understanding some concept, just enjoying the story. And her writing is sloppy and she doesn't try too much in her writing work.

    Creatively, she composes, she has choreographed different dances to certain pieces when she was only 18 months old. Since I taught dance in college for extra money, I was impressed. But she doesn't try in writing.

    On the way home, I was thinking. As a visual-spatial mathy kid, I was reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. I remember only developing intellectually as a reader when I hit puberty and suddenly I was reading European literature. I remember my friends reading Harlequin and I started reading better stuff.

    Anyway, we were working on strategies, with the teacher, to push her. DH is verbal and has always pushed his intellect with his reading. (Though I am the one that enjoys Proust and Thomas Mann...)

    I would like to hear from others who have visual spatial mathy kids and how they are with reading and anyone else who has experience. Some of it is just sloppy, her writing is a mess. She sometimes tries, but mostly channelling ee cummings.

    #116358 - 11/16/11 06:58 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    aculady Offline

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    Have you had her formally assessed for learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.), visual processing and visual-motor coordination problems? "Sloppy" hand writing, poor comprehension, and written output that is considerably below the level of oral output in complexity, organization, and amount are all huge red flags for these kinds of issues, and really bright kids often manage to compensate by using their reasoning to help fill in the gaps for difficulties in these areas for years before anyone notices.

    #116360 - 11/16/11 07:03 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1347
    If it was consistent, but she can write legibly and can organize her thoughts. She did a research project on ophthalmology last year that blew me away.

    Which means, it is just sloppy and uninterest. And she is prodigy on the piano, so she can read music and do the motor coordination just fine.

    #116361 - 11/16/11 07:17 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2834
    Your child's profile sounds like mine in school. I always got downgraded for my penmanship, primarily because I couldn't be bothered to care. You can read it, right? Next assignment, then...

    If the choice was write something for five minutes with basic legibility or write the same thing for fifteen minutes to make it look pretty, the first choice was going to win every time.

    #116362 - 11/16/11 07:22 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2497
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    Which means, it is just sloppy and uninterest. And she is prodigy on the piano, so she can read music and do the motor coordination just fine.

    I second what Aculady said.

    And I would be very careful about assuming it's just careless or sloppy work. It may be-- but if there's an underlying problem, you don't want to be punishing a child for something that's not their fault.

    Piano proficiency is very different from handwriting-- handwriting is not only a motor/planning issue but also needs the language centers of the brain, which are bypassed in piano.


    #116367 - 11/16/11 08:48 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    kcab Offline

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    I'm assuming here that you're not just talking about messy handwriting.

    I'd consider whether or not the writing program in use in the school was part of the problem. From my limited experience, it seems that writing as often currently taught in the primary grades is focused on narrative and is very "me"-centric. For my mathy kid (not sure I'd say he's VS - he's more everything), this approach wasn't ideal. Not that we switched to something better, we're just muddling through, and fortunately the focus changes in the upper elementary grades here. Basically though, I'd say that writing, by which I mean good basic writing skills, isn't systematically taught in the early years at any of the schools my kids have attended.

    My sneaking suspicion, based solely on the fact that even in middle school DD wasn't getting obviously needed feedback on her writing, is that maybe many teachers aren't that good at writing. It's either that or that they don't like to give feedback.

    As far as reading, I guess I'm not sure what the question is. My kids both read above grade level. DD sure read a lot and a lot of junk, some of it pure drek, some just formulaic, and does very well with much better literature in high school now. I'm quite sure she wasn't analyzing Warriors or Animal Ark, or whatever, but just enjoying the story doesn't seem to have hurt her. I don't think of her as mathy or VS though.

    #116372 - 11/16/11 09:20 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: DeeDee]
    polarbear Offline

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3341
    Originally Posted By: DeeDee

    I second what Aculady said.

    And I would be very careful about assuming it's just careless or sloppy work. It may be-- but if there's an underlying problem, you don't want to be punishing a child for something that's not their fault.

    Piano proficiency is very different from handwriting-- handwriting is not only a motor/planning issue but also needs the language centers of the brain, which are bypassed in piano.

    I'll third what Aculady said and second what DeeDee added. My very dysgraphic ds is a very talented piano player - handwriting and reading/playing music are two very different processes. Some kids with dysgraphia have trouble learning to play a musical instrument but others don't.

    Re reading, if she's 7 and reading ahead of grade level, I'm not sure I'd push her - I'd be much more interested in seeing her find books she loves and develop a love of reading than worrying about the specifics of what she is or isn't reading. OTOH, I have a 7 year old who has struggled with reading (relative to her other strengths, her reading is at grade level but she is far ahead of grade level in other areas and complains about how hard reading and spelling are). DD does the word-substitution thing you mentioned when she's reading out loud to us - to me that's an indication that she's not looking at all the words but putting together what she's reading from context. If she's just doing this because she's going fast that's ok, but if you see other signs of potential reading red flags then I'd follow up with a closer look (in our dd's case we see other things too).

    I'm also curious how you know that your dd is a visual spatial thinker - is it from something she's described to you? Or based on reading about vs folks online? The reason I ask is, when our dysgraphic ds first started struggling in school, we attributed a lot of his behaviors to visual spatial theory - but there was much more to it. He really is a visual spatial kid, but I don't think we really knew that for sure until he was a bit older and could clearly describe (over and over again in different situations) his thinking process. If we'd just continued to attribute everything to that we would have missed some challenges that he really needed help with.

    Best wishes,


    #116377 - 11/16/11 10:28 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    La Texican Offline

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    Groan. I'm such a lawnmower mom.  I bought three of these..
    I bought math word problems, reading comprehension, and writing strategies.  I bought them first and then realized how close to Christmas we are, so they're going under the tree.  
    I posted a controversial post on young gifties on another gifted forum, "should they change to fit the rest of the world or should the rest of the world change for them since they will eventually anyway?"
    [[thought-bubble- i don't think education changes you]]
    [[adapting might expand you]]?. IMO education doesn't create mindless drones, it might reveal one if that's what's under the skin (burn!).o Education won't kill her creativity, it's too deep and too real.
    If your dd is not 2e, and you've never posted reasons you think she is, this is where a quick outline of what everybody expects her to produce will cut down on the suffering.  (even if you think she knows because she's shown you once or twice, it doesn't hurt to spell it out so that she knows that she knows).  These 3 videos teach to the test, teach to produce.  HTH.

    P.S. Wren, only because I don't think you suspect disability, only discrepancy.  To me that's a red flag that this is a teachable area. 

    I've gone and posted things I think instead of Things I believe or things I'm sure of.  Drat.  I don't disagree with Dee Dee an Aculady that you should be aware that these things might come from something treatable.  If you try a few other teaching strategies and you can't get her to understand assume that she can't understand and not that she's being stubborn.  And you're not saying different things either.   By passing the language center of the brain could certainly be the opposite of audio/sequential aka visual/spatial.  And if techniques for a certain label work, consider this... How many people here are using "the nurtured heart approach" when it was written for ADD kids and ODD kids, but it's working well for HG+ kids.
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

    #116378 - 11/16/11 10:30 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    kathleen'smum Offline

    Registered: 05/27/10
    Posts: 383
    Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
    I'll fourth Aculady, third DeeDee and second polarbear. :-)

    My DD9 was recently diagnosed with 'stealth' dyslexia. It was so subtle in the early years of elementary school, that it was completely missed. Her work was inconsistent. She could, at times, pull it all together and do a smackdown great job on something.. one that would knock the sock off of everyone. And then, she would go back to three word sentences that were barely legible. She read two to three levels above her grade and, given the choice, always read Diary of a Whimpy Kid books.

    We attributed all of her school issues to 'lack of motivation' or 'sloppiness' initially. We KNEW she could do that work if she really, really tried hard. But the kicker was that it took such incredible concentration and heroic effort to do her best job (read somewhat legible) that she could not do it on a regular basis. So, she gave up trying instead.

    I guess what I am trying to get at is that it might be a good idea to keep an open mind about possible causes for her writing issues. The biggest red flag for us was the difference between her written output and cognitive abilities.
    Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. — L.M. Montgomery

    #116380 - 11/16/11 11:15 AM Re: reading comprehension-visual spatial [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1347
    Except that last year, we started out with really messy writing and the teacher just told her unacceptable and she did fixed it up.

    But then again, it has gotten really sloppy. So if she can control it to some degree like that, it seems rather more disinterest and sloppiness.

    And her abililty in reading seems more visual spatial with the mispronunciation of words, which I still have a problem with sometimes. As a visual spatial, if I do not visual as someone is talking, I cannot remember what they say. If I focus, I can visual the scene for the rest of my life, like pulling a movie reel out of the stock room in my brain.

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